UK to join US-led maritime security mission in Gulf

LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Britain said on Monday it was joining a U.S.-led maritime security mission in the Gulf to protect merchant vessels travelling through the Strait of Hormuz.

Last month, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seized a British tanker, Stena Impero, near the Strait of Hormuz for alleged marine violations after Britain seized an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accusing it of violating sanctions on Syria.

“We look forward to working alongside the U.S. and others to find an international solution to the problems in the Strait of Hormuz,” Defence Minister Ben Wallace told reporters.

Foreign minister Dominic Raab said Britain remained committed to working with Iran to maintain the 2015 nuclear deal agreed with Tehran in return for an easing of sanctions.

A British security source said the focus of the new mission would be protecting the security of shipping and Britain would not be joining U.S. sanctions against Iran. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Writing by Michael Holden)